I don’t know what it is about today, but I’m feeling downright capricious. Which is a side-effect of feeling really energetic. It could be all the coffee I drank, though that never really lifts my mood so much as makes me the energetic version of whatever mood I was before. It could be the return to using my therapy light every day for three days straight after leaving it at home when I visiting my family for the Holidays. It could also be the fact that I wrote just over three thousand three hundred thirty-three words in an hour and forty-five minutes last night. That felt pretty good, especially when I knocked out another thousand in the subsequent half-hour. All of this on a night when I felt incredibly run-down and exhausted from a busy, stressful day at work. I wasn’t sure I was going to get the three thousand words I needed to more-or-less stay on schedule to finish my National Novel Writing Month project on Friday, but I managed to completely knock it out of the park despite starting at nine at night as a result of chores and coping with my depression.
Yesterday’s tip about using the milestone method to trick yourself into staying focused and driven toward whatever is your writing goal made it possible. Without slowly working myself to the start of the next page, to the next thousand, to the next five hundred, to the next round number on my word total, I would not have been able to get as much done as quickly as I did. There may be a fair bit of editing that needs to happen since I didn’t do any as I wrote, but it shouldn’t be much unless I decide to change something much earlier. It’ll be fixing sentences, trimming out repetition, and adding in a few extra words here or there for clarity. Mostly simple stuff since I’m still proceeding along the path I laid out in my outline at the beginning of the month. I’ve had a few deviations, but they’ve all been minor course corrections and adjustments of what topics get introduced where. There’s a lot to go over in this story and I’m trying to make sure it all flows naturally.
I also took my own advice from yesterday. I started setting aside some time to reflect. I took half of an hour after I was ready for bed to relax and reflect on what is going on in my head. It was surprisingly productive and probably set the stage for today’s tired but still good mood. I didn’t come to any big conclusions and I’ve still got a lot to think about, but it took some of the pressure off. It made it easier to focus at work today and, with some of my mental knots untangled, it made it less difficult to get excited about and engaged with stuff. I mean, not that work is any more exciting and engaging than usual. I like my job, but I wouldn’t say that there’s anything going on that I’m particularly excited about. I like the stuff we’re doing and I think it’s cool, but there’s no sense of urgency or anticipation to bring it up to the “excited” level. No, today’s excitement is about the content coming to Destiny 2 that started today and will continue over the next few weeks.
I’m seriously in love with this game after all the changes they made to it for the first “live support” year. All of the story content has been stellar, there’s enough going on from week to week that I actually feel engaged, and all of the niggling little problems that persisted over the course of the release year have been addressed. There are still issues, of course, but they’re much more reasonable and I look forward to them being addressed as live support continues. Because of how much better the story is, I’ve been getting excited about the game’s lore and am now apparently spending all my breaks from writing on the Destinypedia, reading about everything I missed from the first game and delving even deeper into the events I’ve witnessed in this game. I’ve tried to listen to all the dialogue and read all the text from everything I’ve found in-game, but it’s really easy to miss something when you’re running through a mission with your friends. Not everyone wants to stop mid-mission to read the wall of text they just unlocked by interacting with the lump of ore you found hidden behind a storage container in a side room you didn’t need to run through.
It’s been really fun to find out just how self-aware the game is. There are references to the giant mess that was the initial story-line of the first game, emotes that tie into inside jokes that the community has loved, and even a bunch of in-game references to the fact that Guardians (the player-characters in the game) tend to break into dance in the weirdest places without any regard to what is going on around them or whether or not there’s even music. Stuff like this makes it clear that at least someone is paying attention to the community and what we care about. And the dumb stuff we do. As I looked back into the events during the live support years of the first game, I can start to understand why people were so excited to start playing Destiny 2 as soon as it came out rather than waiting for the release year to end. It was such a different game from the release year of Destiny 2 and it incorporates that same fun, exciting spirit I’m feeling as we’re rolling through the first year of live support for Destiny 2.
Anyway, this is late because I went to bed at a reasonable hour last night and was busy at work today, so I didn’t have enough breaks to get this done. There’ll be a lot of busy for the next few weeks as I try to get a buffer going for my blog again, attempt to prepare for a giant move at my day job, and try to play Destiny 2 for five or more hours every week. I’m prepared for that, I think, but that might just be my current optimism speaking. It’s kind of hard to tell for sure, to be honest, but I’d like to think that the culmination of all of my work this month will be a more energetic and engaged version of me. I’ve dreamed about being that person for years, ever since my depression took deeper root and sort of supplanted my identity, so I’d be really excited to see it happen. It might also just be the caffeine.
We’ve got four days of the month left (well, three and a bit since this is going up in the evening), so make sure you stay focused! Even if you’re almost finished, don’t let up! You never know what might come up and there’s never anything wrong with finishing early, so just wrap it up as soon as you can and don’t depend on the uncertain future. You never know what might happen. Good luck today!
Stories are about change and one of the major modern catalysts for change is new people from somewhere else showing up. It’s been a catalyst for change since Beowulf showed up to kick Grendel’s ass (Debately. He only really won because Grendel tried to run away rather than fight), but the change isn’t always good. Lately, there’s been a lot of fear and hate involved in the change we see when new people show up rather than support and polite interest in new cultures. How does your protagonist react to new people? Do they see new cultures as a chance for positive change, or negative? How do they feel about the way the rest of their society reacts? Write a scene where your protagonist is introduced to people who are different from them and show us how they react to the way their life changes as a result.
One of my favorite finds on YouTube, using the “next up” feature, was Rush Garcia. They are a musician and composer who creates music on commission or as inspired by their interests, all of which means they make a lot of music about video games. I love music about video games and these three specific songs in particular are my favorites. They’re part of most of my writing playlists and they’re the core of one of my instrumental anti-anxiety playlists since they feel, quite literally, like emotion turned into music. They all vary quite widely and I can always count on whatever new song Rush puts up to be a beautiful listening experience that makes me want to create my own stuff.
I know I’ve mentioned thinking about what comes next and I know we’re super close to the end of National Novel Writing Month, but don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to do on December 1st. If you lose focus now, you might not finish as strongly as you’d like. It’s a really awful feeling to be racing the clock as midnight on the 30th approaches, trying to beat the countdown to the end as your despair and frustration only grow with each update of the clock. Focus on getting all of your writing done and let the future take care of itself for now. There’s nothing wrong with idly thinking about what comes next, just don’t spend much time or energy on it. Don’t make a plan unless it’s for a bottle of champagne or something like that to toast a successful month of writing. Do plan that stuff.